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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

R.O.P. Offers Spring Shipment

Livestock Update, February 1997

Bill McKinnon, Animal and Poultry Sciences

The Virginia Retained Ownership Program will offer a spring consignment of cattle to be shipped and finished as part of the 1997 program. A shipment of cattle to the Hitch II feedlot near Garden City, Kansas is scheduled by Friday, March 28, 1997 (Good Friday). Consignment is open to both steers and heifers with a minimum of 5 head. The consignment deadline is March 10. The March shipment is planned to meet the needs of cattle producers who background either their own calves or purchased cattle.

The Retained Ownership Program is designed to help cattle producers gain some insight into the type of cattle they are producing. The program provides participants with information on feedlot performance, slaughter weights, and detailed carcass data including both quality and yield grades. This feedback can help producers make adjustments in their breeding programs in an effort to produce a product more acceptable to the feeder, packer, retailer and ultimately, the consumer. As the industry moves toward more retained ownership, alliances, and value based marketing, knowledge of cattle performance will be a powerful tool.

Another objective of the Retained Ownership Program is to teach the basics of custom feeding one's cattle. It would make a cattle producer finishing his cattle for the first time feel much more comfortable doing it with 5 to 25 head instead of a whole load of cattle. The objective is to help producers learn how to use custom feeding as a viable marketing option.

Before being sent to the feedlot, it is strongly recommended that cattle be put through a backgrounding program. During the backgrounding phase the cattle can be started on feed and given an appropriate vaccination regime. Specific guidelines for such a program are available through the local Extension office. Consignors pay only the initial consignment fee up front and then shortly after shipment, a prorated haul bill. Feedlot costs are financed and deducted from the sale of the finished cattle. Consignments can be made on the enclosed consignment form. Any questions about the program can be answered by contacting Jim Johnson at the Virginia Cattlemen's Association (540/992-1009) or Bill McKinnon (540/231-9160).

Consignment Form for Retained Ownership Program March 28 Shipment

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